Home » Unveiling Italy’s first ministerial visit to China post-BRI

Unveiling Italy’s first ministerial visit to China post-BRI

Adolfo Urso, in charge of Business, will meet with his counterpart and other industry leaders in Beijing. This mission aims to restore balance to the bilateral relationship, focusing on the automotive industry and paving the way for new collaborations in the industrial sector before PM Meloni's visit

Rebalancing relations. The Italian Minister for Business, Adolfo Urso, will visit Beijing from Thursday to Saturday.

  • This will be the first trip by an Italian government minister to China since the decision not to renew the Memorandum of Understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative signed in 2019.
  • The mission aims to rebalance Italy-China relations and set the stage for new industrial synergies.

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is coming… to China at the end of July, indicating a significant diplomatic push to strengthen bilateral ties.

  • After closing the Belt and Road chapter, Italy and China have decided to advance cooperation along the rails of the global strategic partnership signed in 2004.
  • Minister Urso’s visit is seen as a preparatory step for PM Meloni’s trip, with potential investment agreements on the horizon.

Strategic trade talks. Minister Urso will meet with Jin Zhuanglong, China’s Minister of Industry and Information Technology, and several key industrial leaders.

  • The discussions will focus on green technology, electric mobility, intellectual property agreements, and cooperation among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
  • The visit also coincides with the provisional application of European tariffs on Chinese electric car imports, adding a layer of complexity to the negotiations.

Looking for investments. The Italian government is keen to attract productive investments in sectors China has shown interest in, particularly the automotive industry. Italy’s rich ecosystem in components, design, and green technology is a significant draw for Chinese investors.

  • However, balancing these interests with the broader context of European Union trade policies and strategic autonomy remains challenging.
  • While Italy has received substantial 5G hardware from China, the government has adopted a cautious stance on Chinese involvement in its telecommunications infrastructure. Il Sole 24 Ore reported that since October 2022, Italy has implemented a series of measures authorizing Chinese 5G supplies with specific recommendations or prescriptions without imposing a total ban.
    • This approach aims to diversify suppliers and increase the share of European equipment to ensure national security.

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